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Children's Literature with Dr. Vardell

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My review of a new 2003 picture book, Whistling...

Partridge, Elizabeth. 2003.WHISTLING. Illustratred by Anna Grossnickle Hines. Greenwillow Books. ISBN: 0-06-050235-5


Newly published in 2003, the book Whistling, is sure to be a hit with story and quilt lovers everywhere. The art medium used to illustrate this book is appliqués. The illustrations are a perfect, cozy fit with the storyline. This sweet story is about a father /young son relationship, cementing memories of camping and feelings of triumph when the boy learns to whistle. The detail of the quilt squares and the rich texture of the fabric are a perfect fit for this story.


 The lumpy sleeping bag with the little boy in it and the puckered lips of the boy trying his very hardest to produce a whistle are nothing less than precious. Hines ability to capture the expression and detail with cloth and thread is pure talent and giftedness. There is beauty evident in the relationship too. The father is nurturing his son, coaching and encouraging him all along the way.


The hues that Hines uses are fitting. The book starts out in darker shades of blues, greens and browns as it shows the night sky. As dawn is approaching the hues become more subdued and lighter. Finally toward the end of the book, the sun has risen and the colors are pinks, oranges and lighter shades of green, announcing a new day.


The last pages of the book have an interesting note about the illustrations. It explains the step-by-step process, through text and photographs, which Hines used to get the desired effects in her work. This book is enjoyable and the artistry that was dedicated to make it what it is deserving of praise.

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